Monthly Archives: August 2015

Oratory at Pomfret (1904)

pomfret_oratory TOO many Christian people take a vacation from their religion as well as from their labors when they go into the country, and pattern themselves after the invited guest who had bought a piece of ground and was going to see it, praying, therefore, to be excused from the banquet.

It is interesting, therefore, to note a recent festivity at a New England country-seat, when a beautiful new oratory was solemnly opened with a service of benediction and a celebration of the Holy Eucharist, the Bishop of the Diocese approving.

On Friday, June 17th, being the feast of St. Alban, the Oratory of Our Lady, adjoining “Dunworth,” the country home of Mr. and Mrs. William Viall Chapin of Pomfret, Conn., was set apart as a place of prayer by the Rev. William Harman Van Allen, D.D., rector of the Church of the Advent, Boston, the Ven. Lucius M. Hardy, rector of Pomfret, assisting.

The little chapel is beautifully fitted for divine worship, under the direction of the well-known Church architect, Mr. Howard Hoppin of Providence, R.I., and will hold twenty-five persons. The altar is deeply recessed, and is adorned with antique ornaments collected in various parts of Europe. A shrine of the Blessed Virgin is on the Epistle side and one of St. Raphael the Archangel on the Gospel side. The vaulted ceiling bears the legend “Domus Orationis,” many times repeated, in the Florentine fashion. The prevailing tint is blue, in honor of the Blessed Virgin; and the little sacristy adjoining is fitted with all things necessary for the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, as well as for the performance of the other rites of the Church. A special service of blessing preceded the celebration of the Holy Communion, the immediate household and a few close friends being present. The proper Collect, Epistle, and Gospel appointed for the consecration of a church were used, with memorial of St. Alban the Martyr.

Pictures of many saints adorn the walls, and among them it was good to see Blessed William Laud the martyr of Canterbury, and his royal master, who had learned from him how to endure even unto the end.

The occasion also had a special interest in that it was the tenth anniversary of the ordination to the diaconate of the officiating priest.

The gracious hospitality of “Dunworth” is so often extended to the clergy that its master and mistress may frequently enjoy the special privilege of a domestic celebration, the Bishop having authorized this at times not conflicting with the service in the parish church.

Mr. Chapin is a graduate of St. Paul’s School and of Trinity College, and Mrs. Chapin is an associate of the Community of St. John Baptist.

There are many Church people who could emulate this good example if they desired to; and we doubt not that the blessings drawn down by prayers and intercessions offered before such a household altar would avail much for the advance of the Faith in our land.

From The Living Church, July 9, 1904, pp. 357-358.


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Canterbury and Moscow (1950)

WE report in our news columns this week an interesting and significant exchange of correspondence between the Patriarch of Moscow and the Archbishop of Canterbury. There are several factors that make this correspondence especially noteworthy.

First of all, it is significant that, at a time when diplomacy is deadlocked and the avenues of peaceful communication between the Kremlin and the nations of the West are strewn with roadblocks, the heads of the Russian Orthodox and Anglican Churches are still able to communicate with each other in Christian fellowship. There is more than stereotyped formality in the Archbishop’s salutation: “Beloved Brother in Christ.” There is genuine recognition of Christian brotherhood in the mutual agreement that it is the duty of Christians-to “rise above all that divides peoples” and to “pray and work together for the triumph of true peace over the realm of disorder and discord.”

It is significant, too, that the Orthodox Patriarchs of Moscow and of Georgia and the Armenian Patriarch have been able to overcome the differences that have separated their Churches since the Council of Chalcedon in 451 A.D. to join in a common plea to the Churches of the West—Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Protestant—to give common consideration to the overarching problem of the peace of the world. We should not overlook the importance of this move, nor dismiss it too lightly as propaganda.

Third, the exchange of letters has given the Archbishop of Canterbury the opportunity to quote the resolutions of the Lambeth Conference on peace, and on the control of atomic energy; and at the same time to indicate the conviction that this is only one aspect of the problem, the core of which is that war Itself should be abolished. To this end, the Archbishop makes a very important contribution when he says that, at the first indication of a willingness on all sides to “speak the truth in love,” he will find himself very willing to join with the Patriarch in “an appeal for a general disclosure of armaments and reduction of armaments under effective international supervision, in which the control of atomic energy and the banning of the atomic bomb would be included.”

It is when the so-called “Stockholm Manifesto” is discussed that the basic difference of opinion is revealed. Here the Archbishop speaks diplomatically, but plainly. Instancing the support of the peace movement before World War II by the Nazis “In the hope that it would encourage an attitude of appeasement . . . and thus leave Hitler and his accomplices a free hand to do as they liked in Europe,” he suggests that “There is some evidence that the present Stockholm Manifesto, too, may be used by some persons for political purposes, and I have therefore felt bound to advise my clergy not to associate themselves with it.” Thus, with characteristic British understatement, he gently turns back against the Russian Orthodox the charge they made at the time of the Amsterdam Assembly In 1948, that the Churches of the West were engaging in matters of political controversy.

Here we may digress a moment to express our own regret that some of the clergy of the American Episcopal Church, including one or two bishops, have failed to see that the Stockholm Manifesto is not an innocent “World Peace Appeal,” as its title indicates, but that it brands their own country “as a war criminal” for first using the atomic bomb, while making no mention of the Communist cold war of aggression, now become an exceedingly hot war in Korea, which is the real contemporary crime against humanity.

Returning to the Archbishop’s letter, we believe he has made a real contribution to clarification of Christian thought in the paragraph in which he outlines the “important and definite part” that should be played by Christian Churches in “creating the atmosphere in which the peace which we desire may grow.” This atmosphere requires three things: understanding, fellowship, an4 prayer. “It is here,” says the Archbishop, “that Christians can make their most effective contribution, since they learn from the love of God how to love their brethren.” In this knowledge, Christians of different traditions can and should “show by their love and fellowship in our Saviour Christ an example of true brotherhood to the rest of mankind.”

This is a lesson that we Christians of the free West need to learn just as much as the Christians of the lands behind the Iron Curtain. It calls for Inspired leadership on the part of our bishops and other spiritual guides—a leadership that has been sadly lacking in our own country during the past three months. (One wonders whether Isaiah would have maintained a discreet silence, if the Assyrian wolf had descended upon the sheep of the Israelite fold during the time he was officially on vacation!). And it calls for an overwhelming response of love and prayer.

The Archbishop of Canterbury assures the Patriarch of Moscow that he and his people “are constantly in the prayers of many Anglicans.” It is for us to make that assurance a reality; and to extend it beyond the boundaries of one Church or country until it becomes a veritable tide of petition to Almighty God to “guide . . . the nations of the world into the way of justice and truth, and establish among them that peace which is the fruit of righteousness, that they may become the Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”

From The Living Church, September 3, 1950, p. 7.

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To the Editor of The Living Church:

ALLOW me to inform your readers, who esteem so highly that untiring apostle of the Catholic movement in the United States—the Rt. Rev. C. C. Grafton, D.D., Bishop of Fond du Lac—that during his recent visit to Moscow and St. Petersburg, the Moscowski Viedmosti published a series of articles touching upon the learned prelate’s visit and possible intercommunion. The great daily in St. Petersburg, Novoe Vremia, published a photograph of the venerable Bishop. While the Church Messenger—the organ of the St. Petersburg Academy—treated in detail with some of the vital questions brought forward by the Doctor of the American Church, the Church News—the organ of the Most Holy Governing Synod—referred to the distinguished visitor in most sympathetic terms, desiring for him God-speed in his holy work and great undertaking.


ABBOT SEBASTIAN. December 16th, 1903.

Orthodox Russian Cathedral,  San Francisco, Calif.,

From The Living Church, December 26, 1903, p. 276.

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Orthodox-Anglican Fellowship Meets (1945)

The Orthodox and Anglican Fellowship held its first meeting of the season in St. Dumitru’s Rumanian Orthodox Church, New York City, on December 3d. Fr. Hategan of St. Dumitru’s sang Vespers, assisted by Nicholas Vansuch of St. Vladimir’s Seminary as reader, and the choir of St. Dumitru’s. The service was largely in English, except the hymns, which the choir sang in Rumanian. The president of the Fellowship, the Rev. Canon Edward N. West, presided at the meeting after Vespers, at which Bishop Irenei of Dalmatia read an interesting paper on “Orthodox Monasticism.” This paper had special reference to the Greek and Serbian Churches. Bishop Irenei said that, from their monks, the Orthodox have learned how “to live on earth in the sight of heaven;” and declared that their cultural services and spiritual lives will doubtless preserve the Church from anti-Christian forces in the future as they have in the past. The night was cold and stormy, but there was a good attendance of both Anglicans and Orthodox. The ladies of St. Dumitru’s served refreshments at the close of the meeting.

From The Living Church, December 30, 1945.

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Canterbury Opens Enrolment to Polish Catholic Students (1948)

Young people of college age of the Polish National Catholic Church were offered the opportunity to attend Canterbury College in a letter recently sent by the Rev. Douglas R. MacLaury, president of Canterbury College, to all the bishops of the Polish National Catholic Church.

Fr. MacLaury said that if enough Polish-American students applied for admission that he would make an immediate appointment from among the displaced faculties in Europe now resident in England, to teach such courses desirable to an understanding of Polish culture and religion, such as Polish literature, Polish history, and the Polish language.

Since the Anglican Church and the Polish National Catholic Church are in communion with each other, the daily celebration of the Holy Eucharist, matins, and vespers also would provide for the religious life of Polish-American students.

From The Living Church, August 8, 1948, p. 5.

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NEW YORK—Elbridge T. Gerry, distinguished Churchman and citizen of New York, very active in affairs of Church and State up to a few years ago, passed to his rest at his home in this city on Friday, February 18th, at the advanced age of eighty-nine years. His death was due, primarily, to a fall in which he broke his hip some two weeks previously. A statement issued by his son, Robert L. Gerry, said:

“Commodore Gerry was able to be up in a chair on Thursday morning for several hours. At 4: 30 P.M. Thursday his heart began to give out and he died at ten minutes to 5 this morning while in a peaceful sleep. His four children were at his bedside.”

The funeral was held on the following Monday. On the burial day, a solemn requiem Mass was celebrated at the Church of St. Edward the Martyr, in the presence of the body. Commodore Gerry was senior warden of this parish for forty years. Owing to the small size of the church, the requiem only was held there, for members of the parish and for the late Commodore’s immediate family, the burial service itself being held afterward at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

Commodore Gerry had been especially active in work on behalf of children. From 1876 to 1901 he was vice president of the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. This interest also was extended to dumb animals, and for many years he served as vice president of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. As a Churchman, he took a leading part in many philanthropies, was for some years a trustee of the General Theological Seminary, and, being a man of large wealth, was able to befriend many of the institutions of the Church on a considerable scale. He was a liberal benefactor of Nashotah Seminary, among other institutions.

Readers of The Living Church will be interested in knowing that some years ago he placed a fund of $1,000 at the disposal of the publishers to be invested and the proceeds used in paying for subscriptions to The Living Church to such clergymen or others as would appreciate it and were unable to subscribe on their behalf. A considerable number of the clergy have been benefited through that fund, which, for a number of years, has always been overdrawn. For several years past he has been in bad health and has lived a retired life.

Mr. Gerry is survived by two sons, Robert L. Gerry and Senator Gerry of Rhode Island, and two daughters, all of whom take an active interest in the philanthropies and benevolences which occupied so large a part of the life of their father.

Commodore Gerry was the grandson of the Elbridge Gerry who was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and afterward vice president of the United States.

From The Living Church, February 26, 1927, p. 605.

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Seminary Offers Automotive Course (1949)

Car trouble on the Canadian prairies holds no fears for the present class of St. Chad’s Theological college in Regina, Sask.

For the past two months, the students have been engaged in the first automotive course ever given by a seminary in Canada. The eight students, ranging in age from 19 to 37, spent two evenings a week at Balfour Technical school in Regina learning what makes a car engine tick.

Purpose of the course is to enable priests trained at St. Chad’s to carry out their duties in the Qu’Appelle Diocese, a vast area extending from the international border on the south to Watrous, about 150 miles north of the boundary, and stretching east and west from the Manitoba border to Medicine Hat, Alberta.

The size of the diocese not only makes a car necessary but also demands a knowledge of the car’s workings, for service stations are few and far between on the lonely prairie.

Religious News Service, January 23, 1949.

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